SOTD - February 12, 2018

CL and L&L

Shaving Product Review - L&L Grooming and Chatillon Lux "Champs de Lavande"

Value (Cost, Packaging and Performance)

Lather (Density, Glide and Feel)

Post-shave (Healing, Moisture and Feel)

Scent (Quality, Strength and Longevity)

Each bar has three metrics, each representing 33% of the total (11% = below-avg, 22% = avg, 33% = above-avg, except cost)

Grand results from the Timeless Razor TRBR78 razor today with this brilliant collaboration between Chatillon Lux and L&L Grooming (now Declaration Grooming) called Champs de Lavande in a #soap and #aftershave combo.

This limited edition collaboration between L&L Grooming and Chatillon Lux is the embodiment of a Midwestern prairie in an early summer midafternoon on the Oregon Trail. After reading about the adventures of Henri Chatillon in the memoir, The Oregon Trail, Herman Melville called Chatillon the most gallant man to ever kill a bison. And it is the bison tallow that helps give the L&L Grooming shaving soap its superior slickness and protection...

I've reviewed a lot of both #chatillonlux and #landlgrooming (now #declarationgrooming) here (click on any of those hashtags to see them all) so I won't get into the soap or aftershave performance here. Suffice to say, you can't go wrong with any of these products as they're all top tier and perform appropriately. I also won't get into the scent much, since I did a full in-depth review of Champs de Lavande as well. Today I'm going to talk mainly about the new #TimelessRazor bronze open comb base plate in a .78mm blade gap - a.k.a. the #TRBR78 razor.

What a transformation this razor's shave has seen. You may recall my first shave with this razor that was horribly disappointing. Following some suspicions and making some adjustments, my second shave with this razor was much better. The key difference between these two shaves was treating the razor a little differently - more like a Mühle R41 than the .95mm gapped options from Timeless Razor. Unlike those, this one tolerates no pressure at all and the rather heavy bronze handle supplied may be a detriment, without adjusting for it...

To test that theory, I used a titanium handle on the second shave. The result was a (far) better shave. To verify that result, and see if I could match that second shave, I switched back to the bronze handle for today's shave. I also slipped in another test; my theory that (more) aggressive razors generally prefer newer blades. I went with a fresh, mellow #Astra blade to test that. Fresher blades definitely shine in these types of razors. Furthermore, if you find a razor too hot with one blade - an Astra is a good way to tone it down a notch.

So let's consider the handle. Do I find the bronze handle too heavy? Not necessarily. I like beefy razors, but it can work against you with a ruthless cleaver like this. Thankfully, there's a way around that problem (that you may not be aware of) that I want to share. If you don't want to go with a lighter handle for whatever reason - the trick is in how you hold the handle. I tend to hold mine at the bottom end, which lets the full weight of the razor do the work. If the bite is too much, simply hold the handle higher up. This changes the fulcrum point essentially, the end result being less weight (pressure) against your face.

So the moral of the story with this (and I suppose the R41 and similar aggressive razors) is to not apply any pressure, as you might with milder razors. Let the weight of the razor do the work. If you find it's too heavy (and thereby applying more pressure than you want) then hold the razor handle higher up. Finally, you can tone them down a bit with a milder blade... Skip the Feather and think along the lines of an Astra. Either way, make sure it's relatively fresh.

The brush is a lovely purple, black and white piece from #WildWestBrushworks that's sporting a 24mm Tuxedo knot. I guess you could call it my "lavender brush." The #GTP scuttle kept the lather neat and warm for the duration. The resulting shave today was BBS all the way, including along the jawline. Two very slight weepers that disappeared between passes. This razor is definitely more like an R41 than it is the .95mm options - that is, less forgiving and more efficient.

Lavender software? Check. Great performance and scent? Check. I'm pleased to have tamed this wild beast of a razor. Combining a few tricks, thinking of it a little differently and overall, just getting used to it has turned it around 180º from that first shave. The razor's still moody, but simple adjustments have made it a usable, if not great option for Monday mornings. I may go for a lighter handle next Monday as a final test, but I think we're good here.